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Blog MSOE Gives Back
Montessori Compass
Volume 1, Issue 4                                             March 2015

MSOE Newsletter
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed


Spring is in the air, and things have been buzzing over the last month at MSOE. The Upper Elementary attended the Montessori Model United Nations Conference in New York City. They represented the Republic of Haiti, researched their topics extensively, and walked in prepared to debate and negotiate with Montessori students from around the world. Full of excitement, eagerness, and maybe a little apprehension, our students stood proudly and defended their positions. Many had their ideas incorporated into the draft resolutions that were presented at the UN General Assembly on the final conference day. Pictures and video of this event can be seen by clicking here.

While we were away, the Lower Elementary and Primary continued their important work, with a focus on marine life. They visited the Adventure Aquarium on Thursday, March 26th, where they observed the feedings of the penguins and the stingrays. They also were able to pet the stingrays and sand sharks, as well as ask questions of the Aquarium staff.

As you know, we also opened enrollment this month for the 2015-16 school year. It is exciting to see how many new parents are considering MSOE for their child's education. Our hope is to continue to educate families about the Montessori philosophy and provide an alternative choice for families throughout the region. Our rapid growth means we have begun expanding our full time staff. We joyfully welcome Patty Herrera, and we look forward to seeking out equally dedicated and passionate individuals for our classroom assistants.

Looking ahead to the remainder of the school year, we have exciting plans on the horizon, including an all-school camping trip. We anticipate a smooth journey, and as always, encourage parents and families to reach out, connect, share and collaborate in whatever way they prefer. Happy Easter and Happy Passover to the families that will be celebrating over the next week, and have a wonderful Spring Break!


Thoughts and Prayers


Unfortunately, Tuesday through Thursday of this past week, Brin has had to take off from being at school. There has been a family emergency, and while Brin wishes she could have been here, she needs to be with her family at this time. Of course Brin plans on being back after spring break. As we are, please keep Brin and her family in your thoughts and prayers at this time and during our break.


As far as your children's education goes, please be assured that MSOE is looking into hiring another trained AMI primary teacher both to support a situation like this and the over 100% growth of our primary classroom. At the very least, we plan on hiring a dedicated and experienced assistant by the end of this school year. In the meantime, Wendy and the elementary children have been supporting the work of the primary children based on Brin's direction of where they are academically.


Camping Trip: May 26-29th
We have been planning on doing a camping trip since the fall. Last week, we got approval to go camping at French Creek State Park in PA. This year, we decided to do something different and incorporate both elementary and primary. The dates will be May 26th - May 29th.

Families of primary children will have the option of joining us and sleeping at the camp site as well. We want this to be a fun experience for families to enjoy. Brin has a vast knowledge of the outdoors and has led groups on hikes in different parts of the country. So, she will be our guide. 

An itinerary will be shared with you within the next two weeks. Brin, Wendy, and Patty will be participating and representing the school. We would prefer to have at least two male chaperones as well. The cost for the trip will be minimal because MSOE will be paying for part of it.
MMUN in Rome
A few months ago I was invited to be a President for the MMUN in Rome. After giving it much thought and discussing it at our board meeting, the members decided that this was an opportunity that I should participate in. 

It is a very exciting opportunity for both myself and the school. This was even more confirming for me after the MMUN conference in NYC. It was there that I met two potential sponsors, who are very interested in helping our school as we work towards growing and moving to our own location. 

The trip takes place during the time period that we have scheduled the camping trip, so I will not be attending the camping trip. We will also be moving conferences from that week to the first week in June. We will send a schedule for June fourth and fifth. 
The experience this year in NYC at the Montessori Model United Nations conference was exciting, a lot of fun, hard work, and sentimental to have Montessori Seeds of Education be a part of it for its first school year. Many pictures can be seen by clicking here and Patty did a wonderful job of creating a video to capture the experience.
MSOE Welcomes New Families

We are thrilled to welcome five new students to the MSOE community for next school year.  Everette Aristone, Carl Steffensen, and Sebastian Watts will be joining our Primary class, and Shea Anderson and Sebastian Aristone will be starting in the Primary class and then moving into the Elementary class.  We look forward to their arrival in September!

Welcoming a New Staff Member
It is with great excitement and pleasure that MSOE would like to officially welcome Patty Herrera to MSOE for the fall 2015-2016 school year. Her experiences and credentials include a BA in English from Kean University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude on a full academic scholarship and a Master's degree in Educational Administration, for which she also received a scholarship. She is also a native Spanish speaker. She has been teaching as a high school Spanish teacher at a private school for four years and also teaches electives including real estate, journalism, photoshop, photography, marketing, computers and web design.

As of now, she will be working with me to participate in an adolescent program. I will be doing math and she will do humanities, science, history, community service projects, local trips, creating a business, Spanish, computer programming, and graphic design. 

We are also in the process of putting out feelers for a trained NAMTA-AMI Adolescent teacher. This continues to be a very exciting time for MSOE and I am grateful to be able to welcome Patty and her daughter Lilly into our community at our present physical location.
Primary Update

Exciting news!!! We now have a plot of land at the Merchantville Community Center. Upon our return from spring break we will begin cleaning up the plot and planting seeds. Of course, with Brin, the ordinary turns into extraordinary. She will be tying in the use of rare and or historic type seeds that have been on the verge of extinction. Some of these seeds also naturally replenish the soil, among other things. Brin has many ideas as to how to use the sorting of seeds and identification of them for lessons. The elementary class will be delving into history and the ecosystem. Furthermore, our new adolescent program will also be utilizing this gardening experience! We will also have fruits and vegetables. All edible produce will be organic!

Encouraging Elementary Insights
by Matt Simberg, M.Ed.  

The elementary classroom buzzes with lessons learned and taught on a daily basis. Whether it be figuring out a better way to communicate, how to delve deeper into a lesson learned, or finding opportunities to support each other. We all have our initial reactions to situations and sometimes we realize that there could have been a better way to communicate that reaction. This is one of the things that being an elementary student is all about. It is finding a better way to get a point across, or express a feeling. 

Communication is one of the characteristics and tendencies of the elementary child. One simple model that I have found effective is written more concretely in a newer book entitled "The Conscious Parent," by Dr. Shefali. It is not just for parents, but to me it is a guide for interacting with people and ourselves in a way that is unfortunately foreign to most. 

Children get ideas from me and each other to find ways to look at lessons differently. They also have been learning to challenge or teach each other after they revisit a lesson or learn something new. One thing we can do better is utilizing outside resources. As a parent, if you come across outside resources or maybe you have a talent or skill you can offer. This can be woven into a new lesson to give first or be reintroduced from a lesson that has already been given.

More of the children have been displaying an increasingly mindful approach to guiding and helping one another, especially students younger than themselves. It is very touching to see elementary students taking on leadership roles with each other and for the primary.   

As an elementary teacher, I feel very fortunate to witness the kind acts and ways of communicating that parents support to instill in their children. While there are of course mistakes in communication, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my gratitude with you for being a part of watching your children become  conscious and kind citizens of the world.

MSOE Facebook Page

In case you were not aware, we have a Facebook page!  We are using Facebook as another avenue to share updates and happenings at Montessori Seeds of Education.  It is also being used to hopefully inspire others and get the word out about our school.  

P resently, we have 139 likes, which is very good, for the short amount of time that it has been up and running. I would like to request that, if you have not done so already, please like our page and share it with family and friends to do the same. The more likes we have, the wider the scope of our feed's reach.  

Simply  visit   our   website,
and click on the Facebook icon at the top right corner, or if you are viewing our mobile friendly site, it is at the bottom of the menu, and then click the like button on our Facebook page.  

Even more helpful than liking our page, we ask parents to give us 5 stars and write a positive review for our school on Facebook and any other sites including Google+, Google Maps, etc... Please continue to spread the word on and offline. Thank you so much for your support and willingness to contribute in ways such as this!
In Our Next Issue
  • End of Year Festivities
  • Enrollment Update
  • Gardening Update



Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Montessori Seeds of Education